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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Changes to the State Pension from 6 April 2023

The State Pension changed from 6 April 2010. More people now qualify for a full basic State Pension. Find out about the most important changes and what they mean for you.

Qualifying for a State Pension

On 6 April 2010, the way you qualify for a State Pension changed:

  • to get a full basic State Pension, you only need 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions (in the past, men normally needed 44 years and women 39 years)
  • a single qualifying year will entitle you to at least some basic State Pension
  • it is easier for parents and carers to get qualifying years towards a State Pension

If you're over 55, or if you care for someone, you should find out how the changes may affect you.

Changes to the State Pension age

The State Pension age for both men and women will rise in the future. From December 2018 the State Pension age for both men and women will start to increase to reach 66 by October 2020. This will mean women's State Pension age will increase more quickly to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018.

To find out more see ‘Calculating your State Pension age’.

What the changes mean to you

What this means to you depends on your circumstances. Some of the most important examples are on this page.

If you are a parent or carer

If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2023 you may be eligible for National Insurance (NI) credits if you're:

  • a parent with a dependent child under 12 years of age
  • an approved foster carer
  • caring for one or more sick or disabled people for 20 hours a week or more

Any periods of Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) you may have prior to 6 April 2023 should have been converted into years of National Insurance credits. This is up to a maximum of 22 years.

If you are married or a civil partner

Previously, some married women could get an increased basic State Pension based on their husband's National Insurance contributions record. From May 2010, this gradually started to apply to married men and civil partners as well.

You may be able to claim an increase even if your spouse or civil partner has not claimed his/her own basic State Pension. This is provided you have both reached State Pension age.

If there is an adult who depends on you financially

It's no longer possible to get a new increase of your State Pension for another adult - an 'Adult Dependency Increase'. This was an increase in your State Pension for a wife, husband or someone who was:

  • looking after your children
  • considered to be financially dependent on you

If you already received this increase on 5 April 2010, you will be able to keep it until 5 April 2020. Or when you no longer meet the conditions for the increase, whichever is first.

Benefit payment changes that start from April 2010

The changes also affect the payment of State Pensions. If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2023 you'll be paid in arrears on a day linked to your NI number. This means you will be paid at the end of your pay week, not from the start. Your payday is the day you normally receive your payment (sometimes called your ‘pay week-ending day’).

National Insurance number

Your National Insurance number (NINO) is the number you get when you first start work or claim a benefit. It is normally shown on the letters The Pension Service sends you.

The Pension Service uses the last two numbers of your NINO to work out your new pay week-ending day. This is shown in the following table.

Last two numbers of National Insurance number Pay week-ending day
00 to 19 Monday
20 to 39 Tuesday
40 to 59 Wednesday
60 to 79 Thursday
80 to 99 Friday

For example, if your National Insurance number is QQ 12 34 56 A, your pay week-ending day will be Wednesday.

If you already received the State Pension or reached State Pension age before 6 April 2023

If this applies to you, changes to the State Pension will not affect you very much.

The rate of basic State Pension is increased from April each year by at least the level of growth in average earnings. The current Government's policy is that the basic State Pension will increase each year by the highest of:

  • growth in average earnings
  • growth in prices
  • 2.5 per cent

This does not apply to the additions to State Pension. Additional parts of the State Pension normally rise in line with the increase in prices.

So in 2012-13 basic State Pension and additional State Pension will rise in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

If you are over State Pension age and have put off claiming your State Pension

If you are already over State Pension age and have put off claiming your State Pension, you can still get an estimate of your entitlement. This will be based on the date you intend to claim in the future.

You can either:

If you are eligible for Pension Credit

If you’re a pensioner living in Great Britain you may be entitled to Pension Credit. It guarantees people a minimum level of income. It also rewards those aged 65 or over who have made modest savings for their retirement.

The age from which you may get Pension Credit is changing. To find out more about Pension Credit see 'Pension Credit - an introduction'.

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